Chapter 1 (1 - 7)

From Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, who has been called to be an apostle,
and specially chosen to preach the Good News

This news is about the Son of God who,
according to the human nature he took, was a descendant of David

This news is about Jesus Christ our Lord who,
by his resurrection from the dead, proved he was the Son of God

From him I received my mission to preach the obedience of faith to non-Jewish nations

You are one of these nations. You belong to Jesus Christ

To you who are God's beloved friends in Rome,
may God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give grace and peace

Jesus, Son of God,  may all nations know and love you


Chapter 1 (8 - 16)

I thank God for the way people everywhere speak of your faith

I never fail to mention you in my prayers.
I pray for the opportunity to visit you if God wills

I long to see you to encourage you and to be encouraged by you

For I am not ashamed of the Good News. It is the power of God saving everyone who has faith, Jews first then everyone else

Jesus, help me to pray for others the way Paul prayed for others


Chapter 1 (18 - 25)

Everyone needs the Good News, especially people who put truth in prison

Ever since the world began, people could know God by seeing the wonders of creation. But even though they saw the beauty of creation, they refused to honor the Creator

They replaced honor for God with honor for images of men and beasts.
They worshipped a god they made instead of God who made them

Jesus, may the beauty of creation help people know you and your Father and the Holy Spirit


Chapter 1 (26 - 32)

Refusing to honor the Creator is why people's behaviour went bad:

why women turned from natural intercourse to unnatural practices, and why men gave up natural intercourse to be consumed with passion for each other, men doing shameless things with men, and getting an appropriate reward for their perversion

Since people refused to honor God, they have dishonored themselves

Jesus,  help  people not be mislead by false teaching which says that a "gay" lifestyle is ok
(See:  "Can Homosexuality Be Healed?", by Francis MacNutt)


Chapter 2 (13 - 29)

People become holy in God's sight by doing what is right.
Listening to God's Law is not enough. We have to put it into practice in our lives

Non-Jewish people who follow a good conscience and do what is right,
have God's Law engraved on their hearts

What matters is not circumcision of the body, but circumcision of the heart.
The real Jew is one who is a Jew in his heart

Jesus, help me to love you with all my heart. May my love for you not be just something external, but something real, in my heart


Chapter 3 (20 - 24)

Only by faith in Jesus can we really become holy in God's sight.
This faith is a free gift of God's grace to us

Only when Jesus is in our hearts, can our hearts become holy in God's sight

Jesus, please live in my heart! May you live in me, and I in you


Chapter 4 (1 - 25)

Remember our ancestor Abraham. He put his faith in God,
and this was how he became holy

We too must put our faith in God the Father who raised Jesus from the dead to make us holy

Jesus, please increase my faith. Help me believe like Abraham


Chapter 5 (1 - 5)

By faith and through Jesus we can live in the friendship of God

We look forward to heaven and an end to all suffering

In the meantime our suffering teaches us patience.
Patience produces perseverance. Perseverance produces hope

This hope is not imaginary. It's real, since the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us

Jesus, through your Holy Spirit, please give me more hope


Chapter 5 (12 - 21)

Through one man, Adam, the virus of sin entered the world,
and sin infected everyone with death

Through one man, Jesus, the divine anti-virus of grace entered the world, 
and brought the gift of eternal life to everyone who allows it to be installed in their heart

The divine anti-virus of grace  is more powerful than any sin virus

Jesus, please download and install in my heart
your anti-virus program of grace


Chapter 6 (3 - 11)

When we were baptized, two things happened:
1: We went into Jesus' tomb and joined him in death. We died.
2: We rose from the dead with Jesus. We came back to life

This dying and rising means we have died to sin, and risen to a new life.
We died to an old life, and  we came back to a new life.
We have been re-born, born again

Jesus, please help me leave my old life behind. Help me live a new life with you


Chapter 6 (12 - 23)

Do not let sin control your life. Always remember which team you play for: God's Grace Guys, not Satan's Sin Side

Playing for SSS is a recipe for death.
Playing for GGG leads to eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord

Jesus, please help me remember I'm on your team


Chapter 7 (14 - 25)

Even though I'm on God's team, I don't always play as well as I should.
At times I cannot understand my behavior. 
I fail to do good things, and I find myself doing bad things

It's as if there is a battle going on inside me. In my heart I dearly love God,
but my will is weak, and I do things that I know are wrong

Who can help me keep going? Who can fix up things in my life?

Jesus can. He is the one who sorts out things in my life,
and changes chaos into order, by the working of the Holy Spirit

Jesus, my life is in your hands. Please arrange my life the way you want to


Chapter 8 (9 - 13)

You are on God's team. God the Father is the manager.
Jesus is the captain. The Holy Spirit is the coach, a coach living in your heart

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead, is living in you,
then he who raised Jesus from the dead will help you live a risen life

By the grace of the Holy Spirit you can stop doing bad things

Holy Spirit of Jesus, Holy Spirit of the Father, fall afresh on me!


Chapter 8 (14 - 21)

Everyone moved by the Spirit is a child of God.
The Spirit lets us use children's language to speak to God  tenderly as "Abba, Father"

Since we are God's children, we are also his heirs, coheirs with Jesus,
sharing his suffering so as to share his glory

What we suffer in this life can never be compared with the glorious life we will have in heaven

The whole of creation looks forward to sharing the same glory, to sharing immortality

Abba, Father, may everyone love and honor you. Help everyone get to heaven


Chapter 8 (26 - 29)

When we are not sure of what to say in prayer, we ask the Spirit to  pray in us

We know that by turning everything to their good, God blesses everyone who loves him

God the Father wants us to become living images of his Son, so that his Son will be the eldest of many brothers and sisters

Jesus, brother Jesus, please help me to be more like you


Chapter 8 (35 - 39)

Nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus, 
even if we are in big trouble of any kind

By the power of Jesus who loves us, we can get through any trouble

Jesus, when I am in trouble, help me remember your love


Chapter 9 (1 - 5)

There is a great sorrow in my heart. It's with me day and night.
It's the situation of the Jewish people, how they will not accept the Anointed One

I am willing to do anything to help them accept Jesus. I am willing to undergo the greatest suffering if that would help them believe

They are my nation, my family. They have been so blessed by God.
From their flesh and blood came Christ, who is God

Jesus, God-made-flesh, I pray with Paul that the Jewish people will believe in you


Chapter 10 (1 - 4)

I have a really great love for the Jews. I pray to God for them to be saved

They have a strong belief in God, but their zeal is misguided

They can't see that friendship with God is a gift from God,
not just a matter of external practices

Jesus, some people have mixed up ideas about religion
(.. Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses).
Help them know the truth as you revealed it


Chapter 10.9 & Chapter 11.33-36

If your lips confess that Jesus is Lord, and if you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, then you will be saved

How wonderful is God!  How great his wisdom and knowledge.
What finite creature could ever understand the mind of our infinite Creator?

All that exists comes from him. To him be glory for ever!

Jesus, Father, Spirit - three persons, one God
 - to you be glory for ever!


Chapter 12 (1 - 2)

I beg you, trust in God's mercy, and worship him in a spiritual way, not just in an external way

Offer your whole life to him as a holy sacrifice

Do not blindly follow the fashions of the world. Instead, let your behavior change, fashioned by your enlightened mind

This is the way to discover the will of God, the way to know what God wants us to do

Jesus,  help me give more time to things that are important, less time to things not so important


Chapter 12 (9 - 13)

Do not let your love be superficial, but sincerely prefer good to evil.
Have a family love for each other, and a profound respect for each other

Persevere in your love for the Lord and your service of the Lord.
Hope will make you cheerful

Do not give up when trials come. Keep on praying.
Help people who are in need. Make hospitality your special care

Jesus, please help me grow in love. Help me love you and other people a bit better


Chapter 12 (14 - 21)

Pray for people who are unkind to you. Be kind to them.
Rejoice with those who are happy. Console people who are sad

Treat everyone with kindness. Never be condescending.
Make real friends with the poor

Do all you can to live at peace with everyone. Resist evil and conquer it with good

Jesus, I pray for (.. name ...) who was unkind to me


Chapter 13 (1 - 7)

Be a good citizen. Respect all civil authorities.
Authority comes from God and is answerable to God

Don't break laws. Live honestly.
Fulfill your obligations as a citizen. Pay your taxes.

Jesus, please help me be a good citizen


Chapter 13 (8 - 9)

Avoid getting into debt, except the debt of love we owe each other.
Love other people as you should, and you will keep all the commandments

All the commandments concerning other people - You shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal etc - are summed up in the words "You must care about your neighbor as much as you care about yourself"

Jesus,  help me care about others as much as I care about myself


Chapter 13 (12 - 14)

Let us stop our bad behavior of the past:
drunken orgies, immorality, quarreling, jealousy

Let us live good lives. Let the Lord Jesus protect and help us

Jesus, please help me give up bad behavior


Chapter 14.7 - 15. 2

The life and death of each of us, has its influence on others.
If we live, we live for the Lord. If we die, we die for the Lord.
Alive or dead, we belong to the Lord

Never pass judgment on other people.
Never treat other people with contempt

The kingdom of God is not about eating special food.
The kingdom of God is about friendship with God,
and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit

Do whatever you can to help other people become stronger Christians

Jesus, please help me be a good Christian


Chapter 15 (4 - 13)

Learn hope from the Scriptures, from the example of people who did not give up, and were helped by God

May the God of hope bring you such joy and peace in your faith, 
that the power of the Holy Spirit will remove all bounds to hope

Holy Spirit of God, help me understand that no situation in this life is ever hopeless, that you can enlighten even the darkest place


Chapter 15 (15 - 33)

The reason I have written to you is to encourage you in your faith.  This is my job from God

He has appointed me as a priest of Jesus Christ.
I must do all I can to spread the Good News

I hope to see you on my way to Spain

Please pray for me that I may be protected from people who want to eliminate me

Jesus, help me do all I can to spread your Good News


Chapter 16 (1 - 25)

Please welcome our friend Phoebe, a deaconess in the church at Cenchrea. 
She has helped many people, including myself

Greetings to all my friends in Rome, especially Prisca and Aquila,
my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked death to save my life

Be careful of people whose teaching is suspect. Avoid them

Glory to him who is able to give you strength
to live according to the Good News

Jesus, help me live according to your Good News.
Thank you for the beautiful letter to the Romans